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A century of healthy internationalism

Updated: 2021-10-12 08:01 ( China Daily )
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Staff members celebrate after singing a chorus for the hospital's 100th anniversary.[Photo by Zhu Xingxin/China Daily]

Combating pandemic

The COVID-19 outbreak tested all of the humanity and especially medical workers, particularly in the early days.

PUMCH's doctors, nurses and other staffers have proved their expertise through their actions at the front lines in China and abroad.

Last year, three medical teams from PUMCH arrived in Wuhan, the hardest-hit city, on Jan 26, Feb 7 and Feb 19, respectively.

They were responsible for the patients in the most critical condition.

Du Bin, who was then the intensive care unit's director and is the hospital's current vice-president, joined the first six-member team-the nation's top expert team dealing with COVID-19.

Despite the shortage of personal protection equipment at that time, Du and his colleagues spent hours at patients' bedsides, giving examinations, discussing treatment plans and performing such procedures as tracheal intubation.

He was the team's only critical care physician and contributed to drafting a treatment manual based on their experience of treating a large number of patients in Wuhan.

Du and his team attended two news conferences hosted by the State Council to provide firsthand information about the pandemic and treatments to the world.

He told one of the news conferences that it was their responsibility to join the rescue team when local healthcare resources had been overwhelmed by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Du says he'd never related his work to sacrifice or contribution because curing patients is simply a doctor's duty.

"Chinese doctors were the world's first medical workers to deal with COVID-19 patients, which of course means that Chinese doctors had a bigger say in international conferences on the disease," he says.

"Many international conferences invited Chinese doctors to talk about COVID-19, and we shared all we knew about it, which has helped the world draw a general picture and framework."

Du says their duties extended beyond helping patients to sharing their precious experience with the international medical community.

PUMCH doctors shared their COVID-19 experiences with over 10 countries through roughly 20 video conferences during that period, the hospital says.

Other smaller exchanges between Chinese doctors and overseas peers were more frequent.

The hospital's department of infectious diseases' deputy director, Cao Wei, participated in several video conferences with peers abroad. She says it was an opportunity for Chinese doctors to contribute to the world.

"We shared and learned to reduce casualties globally. Discussions about the cure continue. All in all, we need to respect science," she says.

Joseph Kolars, senior associate dean of the University of Michigan Medical School in the US, says the world is a better place for all the discoveries and care that PUMCH has been providing for a century.

"Peking Union Medical College Hospital will be leading us all forward to take on the important health challenges that still confront us," he says.

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